(Closed) Bees I need sleep help..anyone with advice.

posted 4 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’ve taken ambien off and on for years and it did help control my nightmares. Mine were not nearly as bad as yours but they still got to me, often times to the point of waking up in the throes of a panic attack. When I took the ambien, I didn’t have disturbing dreams. In fact, I don’t recall any of my dreams during the times I used it. I’m sure I had them but just don’t remember. 

I’ve read your posts about your little girl.  Perhaps her bio mom’s upcoming visit is causing you more stress than you initially though?  I’m no expert but I did notice my nightmares got more frequent and severe when I was stressed out, even for happy reasons, like planning our wedding. 

Just wanted to throw in that I admire your strength and your devotion to your children. (Hope that doesn’t sound too creepy). Your husband’s daughters are lucky to have you as a strong positive female influence in their lives. 

Post # 4
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Earlier this year, I went through a period of severe insomnia due to stress (think: not being able to sleep a wink for 5 days straight). I tried Ambien, but it didn’t really help – I would wake up about 2 hours later with my heart racing. The thing that did the trick was Klonopin (it’s an anti-anxiety med that a GP or a psychiatrist can prescribe to you), it makes you drowsy and also settles a lot of the physiological symptoms of stress – like a racing pulse, jitteriness, etc.). It definitely helped me get some sleep during that period, and I still take some occasionally if I’m really anxious and cannot sleep (i.e. if I have a high-pressure early morning meeting). Hope this helps!

 

Post # 6
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@TexasSpringBride:  I didn’t find it habit-forming, but I only took it regularly for about 1 month. For me, every night became a stressful event — I would lie in bed and stress out about the fact that I wasn’t sleeping, which would cause me to be even more anxious and more unable to sleep. The meds helped me break that “cycle” and get back to having a normal relationship with sleep (i.e. not being anxious or fearful that I wouldn’t be able to sleep).

If you’d rather go the herbal/homeopathic route, I would recommend Hyland’s Calms Forte or Hyland’s Insomnia – they’re herbal tablets available at Whole Foods. Also, I found that DreamWater Snoozeberry helped – it’s a small drink-based supplement (sorta like those 5-hour energy bottles) that contains Tryptophan and other enzymes that help with relaxation.

Post # 7
Member
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@TexasSpringBride:  Both Ambien and Klonopin are scheduled, classified drugs.   I didn’t have a problem with becoming dependent on ambien (or Klonopin when I took it for panic attacks) because I only used it for a couple weeks at a time. 

As far as non-narcotic sleep aids, perhaps melatonin could help. Or Benadryl but it is pretty short acting so it never keeps me asleep the whole night. I didn’t have any luck with OTC sleep medicatiobut except for melatonin. To my knowledge, melatonin isn’t habit forming. 

Some people have success with Gabapentin.  It’s a prescription but isn’t a scheduled, narcotic drug. It didn’t work for me though. Other prescription non classified medication I’ve tried for insomnia include Trileptal and trazodone.   I tried these under supervision from my psychiatrist.  My GP referred me since he wasn’t as experienced in treating insomnia with medications other than Ambien, Sonata, or Lunesta ( all of which are classified drugs). 

I’m not a medical doctor, just a chronic insomniac. But I share your fear in taking medication for sleep I may become dependent on. 

Post # 9
Member
2516 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

i’ve been on ambien and klonopin (not at the same time). i have anxiety and bipolar disorder so sleep is really important to keep mania at bay. my doc tried ambien but i could only take it for a few nights at a time and i needed somthing for every night. i liked the ambien though. it knocked me out and i don’t remember any dreams i had while on it. the klonopin was ok but what really worked for me was seroquel. it worked amazingly. the only thing is you can’t just stop taking it. you have to slowly wean off of it. i’m off it now because we moved and our living situation is waaaay better. my friend swears by the yogi brand bedtime tea. i can’t use it because it has st john’s wort in it but she said it helps her sleep. i hope you find something that works!

Post # 11
Member
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

First ((((( BIG HUGS )))))

Oh gosh, how I can relate !!

I too was in an abusive relationship… married to my Ex-H for 20+ years.

It was what I call “Guerrilla Warfare*” living with him towards the end… in that he was continually ambushing me, sabotaging our relationship (so I’d be set up to fail), raids on my privacy, petty arguments, doing sh!t to keep me awake at all hours (sleep depreviation) etc.  As the Abuse Counsellors say, you start out walking on egg shells and it only escalates from there !!

* I use the term Guerrilla Warfare cause that is the best way I can explain it.  Not to belittle in anyway those who have actually served in the Military… but there are definite some equations that can be made especially in the long term effects as in PTSD, Battered Wife Syndrom, and Stockholme Syndrome.

After I left I went thru a devastating period… the worst of my life… even harder than the abuse… part of this was because of the horrid divorce (I was virtually homeless and on the door step of our local food bank… because of his tactics in regards to withholding my rightful access to MY / OUR funds)

In the midst of that… I somehow managed to keep going… altho not clearly fully equipped to do so

And not long after when things calmed down “somewhat” (I changed lawyers) I pretty much had a mental, emotional and physical breakdown.

(A sense of relief… said the therapist… after 20 years my mind had to give me a “break” from the fact that I WAS ALWAYS ON)

I was functioning (didn’t go into an institution… instead doing intensive therapy several times a week) but I was barely a shell of the person I “used to be”

It took me a long time to realize that altho this severe might not be my NEW NORMAL… that I had to accept that my life had changed… and my mind & body was telling me that.

I learned not to be so hard on myself… and my road back to recovery and closer to the person I used to be means that I don’t beat myself up over not being perfect anymore… (a left over from the Battered Wife Syndrome)… but instead I go with the person I am now… and WHAT I feel comfortable doing at any point in time

I no longer are trapped in the idea that I have to get up at 5 AM, have a perfect house, darling children, a fabulous marriage, a high energy career, gourmet meals, and entertain like Martha Stewart.. all the while doing laundry and scrubbing floors… and falling into bed at 1 AM… grabbing 4 hours and doing it all again the next day.

Lol, a mental overload, and a great therapist can do wonders to change your mindset (and your heart)

Without therapy I never would have found the REAL ME… or met Mr TTR

He knew some of my story when we began dating… but he came face to face with the horror towards the end of my decade long drawn out Seperation & Divorce when I was in court regularly… and the stress of that event was so intense that I was suffering from a full blown bout of PTSD again…

My symptoms were pretty much identical to yours…

Not sleeping, barely eating, upset tummy, headaches, horrific nightmares, sitting upright in bed yelling, or waking up with a blood curdling scream, “running in my sleep”… or striking out

Poor Mr TTR he really had a rough couple of months with me at that point… but he was a sweetheart.  Always understanding.  He usually would make sure I was fully awake, talk to me for a few minutes, get me a drink (water, pop, lemonade, tea, hot chocolate)… then come back to bed and let me snuggle with him, so I would feel “safe” again

All that seemed to work

(Hot Chocolate made with lots of milk does settle your tummy, and calm your nerves… and makes it easier to fall back to sleep)

I am not big on drugs so I didn’t try anything like that.

And as I said, this bout only lasted a few months, and then after the “stressor” the Divorce was over, my life went back to pretty much normal (rare now to even have a dream now about my Ex… and no nightmares or evil stuff anymore)

It does sound like you are in a full-blown session of PTSD… so I would recommend that you talk to a qualifed therapist about that.

I cannot say enough good things about personal therapy for someone who has been in an abusive relationship !!

And remember the anology… that your relationship was like a walk into a thick forest… just because you decided to LEAVE doesn’t mean you can get “out” of it all right away… as far as you’ve walked into the forest, you have to take a decent amount of time to find your way back out.

Hope this helps,

(( HUGS ))

 

Post # 12
Member
2516 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@TexasSpringBride:  yeah i understand. maybe the bedtime tea would work? the ambien would definitely knock you out if you want to try that and it’s not habit forming. you can’t take it frequently because your body builds up a resistance to it and then you start to need more but taking it for a few nights is totally fine. good luck and i hope you’re able to sleep tonight!

Post # 13
Member
4436 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I’m so sorry to hear about your past- this was a really hard thread to read (much less live through I’m sure). I had bad insomnia before (not the result of abuse or anything like that at all) and prescription Ran-Zopiclone totally worked for me. I’d take a 7.5 mg blue pill and would drift off to sleep about 20 mins later. I could get 7 hours of sleep straight- woke up with no drowsiness. I had no problems with it being addictive at all. I don’t condone use of prescription pills in all cases, but you can ask your doctor about it and make an informed decision.

*Big hugs* and best wishes for good sleep:)

Post # 14
Member
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@little_d:  I also used a different of the “zopiclone” meds for a while (I believe they are essentially the same thing, just different ones approved in different countries. It worked for me as well.

 

I’ve also had success with melatonin. Ambien wasnt so good for me, because my biggest problem was not waking up (for good) 3 hours after I went to bed, and ambien didn’t change that.

 

OP, I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. Severe Insomnia (especially coupled with nightmares) isn’t something I’d wish on anyone.

 

Post # 15
Member
4436 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@farawayviolet:  You reminded me- I did try melatonin as well. I always try the most natural route first before going to prescription drugs, but melatonin didn’t work for me. I felt kind of groggy and didn’t get sleep. Perhaps I was taking the wrong amount? 

It wasn’t as bad as the drugstrore brands (I don’t remember the names of them) that you can buy off the shelf. Those really didn’t work- I would feel so drowsy and groggy, yet didn’t get any sleep from them.

Post # 16
Member
741 posts
Busy bee

@TexasSpringBride:  I work with a lot of women that have been in domestic violence situations, and nightmares are a very common symptom. Do you think you might have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder? Or do you think this is just an isolated symptom? Because if it is PTSD, there is a treatment called CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) that has been used effectively with vets who suffer from nightmares. It is not the only treatment for it, but the most specific.

Sometimes symtpoms of PTSD will resurface if there are things in our current enviorment that are stressful going on, such as family difficulties, etc. So it makes sense and is totally normal if that is what it is. Benedryl works too 🙂 But if you want something other than meds, you should know there is treatment for this.

here is some more info:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia-treatment/SL00013

If you are interested in this, and want to try it on your own before seeing a therapist, this is THE book:

http://www.amazon.com/Cognitive-Behavioral-Treatment-Insomnia-Session-/dp/0387774408/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369379782&sr=8-1&keywords=cbt-i

 

 

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